On Monday, 175 CEOs and senior executives of the United States’ largest companies announced their pledges to The CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion initiative.
The pledge “aims to rally the business community to advance diversity and inclusion” and includes fulfilling three goals, one of which is to “implement and expand unconscious bias education.”
“Unconscious bias education enables individuals to begin recognizing, acknowledging, and therefore minimizing any potential blind spots he or she might have, but wasn’t aware of previously.”
It also includes fostering a workplace environment where people feel comfortable having “complex, and sometimes difficult, conversations about diversity and inclusion.”
Business Insider reports that the idea for this action was prompted following the Dallas shooting that took place last July, that resulted in the death of five white Dallas police officers. Tim Ryan, a non-CEO member of the steering committee, told BI that had a discussion with his employees at PwC on race.
From there, the idea expanded. Ryan began reaching out to different CEOs to get their ideas in order to formulate a plan.
“He reached out to several CEOs for their ideas, including his friend Ted Mathas of New York Life… Another CEO Ryan recruited was Ron Parker, of the Executive Leadership Council, an organization started in 1986 to promote the development of African-American corporate leadership.”
The list of signatories on this pledge includes organizations like American Express, Campbell Soup Company, The Coca-Cola Company and Major League Baseball.